Resistance is the coherent deployment of psychological defenses to cope with ego dystonic information about oneself. It could also be a collective response. Certain cognitive-behavioral patterns (e.g., repetition compulsion) are also resistances.
There are four groups of resistances:
1. Comfort zone preservation: maintaining control by rejecting the unfamiliar and the challenging. This fosters a sense of safety, predictability, certainty, agency, and self efficacy.
2. Resistance to dread- and panic-inducing insights and interpretation of the patient’s unconscious processes and the resulting conscious content, choices, decisions, and behaviors.
3. Cognitive distortions: resistances intended to buttress and uphold a fantastic, inflated, grandiose, or otherwise unrealistic sense of self-worth and self-image.
4. Resistances intended to cement and defend a narrative which provides meaning and structure (organizing and hermeneutic principles, like science, political or professional affiliation, or religion on the collective level), direction and goals, and makes sense of the world and of others (theory of mind and internal working model). In fact, such individual and collective narratives can be construed as resistances writ large. All negative affects can be both interiorized and externalized: aggression is no exception, but it is the most well-studied.
One view of depression is that it is a form of internalized (self-directed) aggression.
But aggression can also be externalized (like in psychopathy) or sublimated or even institutionalized (like in the army or police or medical surgery).
Society rewards sublimated aggression (even in sports and business). This social approbation is anxiolytic and antidepressant.
Mood is reactive to affect. So, it can be externalized, too.
How do externalized expressions of affects and attendant moods appear to outside observers?
From the outside, people monitor the actions of others and do not involve themselves with the deeper strata or with behavioral etiology. Hence phenomenological psychology.
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